by Robert Gillis

What was so special about the silver age of comic books? Read about it HERE
(Click any image to enlarge)

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The super-heroes of the bronze and silver age seemed to do a lot of unnecessary damage while performing their rescues – even back on the “Adventures of Superman” TV show, Superman was also smashing through windows and walls because it was much more dramatic than, say, opening a door.

I found these gems from the Bronze Age; all three involve elevator rescues that could have been done with far less property damage:

From Wonder Woman #246, Diana Prince is doing some laundry when the power goes out – suddenly, she realizes people are trapped in the elevator. Realizing one of them might be claustrophobic, she thinks to herself her rent will go up as she rips open the elevator doors. Switching to Wonder Woman, she flies up to the elevator car and SMASHES THROUGH THE BOTTOM OF THE ELEVATOR.


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These poor folks are just trapped for a few minutes in an elevator and in no real danger at all, and she rips out the FLOOR of the elevator to get to them.

Great dialogue here:
Mrs. Kravitz: “She smashed right through the floor!”
Abner: “That’s what super-heroines are supposed to do, I think!”

Not really, Abner. No.

The elevator was just WITHOUT POWER (for a few minutes) and now it has a HUGE GAPING HOLE in the floor. Wonder Woman races off and doesn’t even bother to fix the damage or at least put up a sign that says: “Danger! You’ll fall to your death if you step into the elevator!”

Moving on, in Superman #279, Clark Kent spots skyscrapers shaking apart so he has to ditch Barbara Gorden (Batgirl) and save the buildings. How does he do it? By switching to Superman in an empty (and might I add, perfectly working) elevator and SMASHES through its roof (leaving a gaping hole) and then SMASHING through the roof of his office building (again, leaving a huge gaping hole). No matter what the danger, he just did tens of thousands of dollars of property damage for no reason. Seriously?

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Next, in the amusing “Hostess Snacks” ads from the 1970s featured our heroes helping people and stopping criminals with help from Hostess brand pies and cakes. In this ad, Superman sees that cables of an elevator are about to snap. So he races up to the 73rd floor and…

…gently lowers the car to the bottom of the shaft?

Oh, hell no — he SMASHES the entire elevator car THROUGH THE ROOF (with the people inside and the elevator doors open) and then, seventy-five (or so) stories high, tosses them some fruit pies to calm them down. He then flies the elevator to the ground.



Who’s going to repair all that damage? How do they get the elevator back into the building?

And by the way, if I was in a falling elevator 73 floors up and the car crashed through the roof and was flown down to the street with the doors open, I wouldn’t want food, I’d need two or three air sickness bags.

Finally, it wasn’t just elevators super-heroes needlessly destroyed!  Back in the SILVER AGE — Here’s a GREAT scene from the days when Superman was just a lllittttle too powerful.  It’s Action Comics #273 and Mr. Mxyzptlk spreads sneezing powder everywhere, so Superman inhales all of it, and realizing he is about to sneeze, flies into space (to another UNIVERSE, according to the caption) and {wait for it}…

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Superman DESTROYS AN ENTIRE SOLAR SYSTEM with {wait for it} A SNEEZE!    At least it was uninhabited, unlike, say, every place Superman did damage in “Man of Steel.”

Ah, super-heroes! Saving us all while doing as much needless damage as possible!

Good thing that doesn’t happen in super-hero movies THESE days!

Oh, wait…..

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